“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here we all are after the festive break with lots of good intentions for getting things done in this bright New Year. Coaches have good intentions, and so do their coachees. Yet how often do those good intentions fall by the wayside?
There can be a whole host of reasons for good intentions going out of focus pretty quickly. Here I’m going to look at circumstances where the impulse to do something is genuinely there, but it gets drowned out by everything else that may be going on in our lives. We lose our sense of priorities.
You know I’m not one for pulling out a coaching tool for no reason, especially if it’s complicated. So the fact that this post is about the Urgency-Importance Matrix should give you a clue that I think it’s not only really useful, but also really easy to use.
Let’s look at what the Urgency-Importance Matrix is, then check out two specific work-based coaching scenarios where I’ve found it priceless.
“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Hope this season is full of joy, remembering those for whom times are hard, & extending kindness to all…
Enjoy your day!
Although the title of The Financial Times Guide to Business Coaching (published 2011) seems to imply this book’s remit is purely related to coaching in the world of business, to my mind it’s a rare gem which gives a comprehensive yet entertaining whistle-stop tour round all things coaching for anyone seriously interested in the subject. That’s not to suggest it’s shallow, for shallow it certainly isn’t. It’s to say that if any coach reads this volume carefully, she or he will have more than a thorough introduction to many practical coaching-related subjects, as well as the pleasure of being entertained along the way.
At just over 230 pages, this is not a big read. However, given the amount of ground it covers and the amount of attention many of its sections warrant, it’s not an inconsiderable read either. What sugars the pill is Anne’s authorial voice – one of wit, candour and mischievousness. This is a refreshing combination, and one I think we could do with more of.
Topics covered include:
“You already are what you want to become.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
In a previous post I outlined the 5 basic coaching skills we really need in order to become effective as coaches. We’ve already taken a look at contracting, use of some kind of structuring mechanism (with the GROW Model as an example), and listening. This time I’m going to discuss questioning, which (coupled with listening) is the way coaching is given direction, and conversations can be taken forward into ‘light-bulb moment’ territory.
First, we’ll be looking at framing questions during the ongoing interaction with a coachee, before turning to the most important questions we coaches need to ask ourselves.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
How often in conversation with another coach do you find the subject moving to coachees who don’t do what they know they ought to do? It’s happened to me quite often. In a previous post I considered the proposition “What if… coachees were coaches?” and in some ways what I’m going to say today continues on that theme. We all know we’re supposed to believe that coachees have within themselves the answers to their problems, but somehow our keeping hold of that insight gets swamped by ‘interference’…
What do I mean?
Coaching is in many ways more about how a coach deals with his or her own baggage than it is about the coachee. One function of a coach is to hold up that mirror to coachees which helps them perceive themselves in perspective. But what if the coach isn’t really holding up a mirror at all? What if the coach has unwittingly substituted his or her own image?
“There is nothing stronger in this world than gentleness.”